RealTime Racing Acuras Fight Through Adversity in Alabama
· Peter Cunningham claims Hard Charger Award in Saturday’s opener
· Acuras finish in top 13 in both events at Barber Motorsports Park
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (April 24, 2016) – The RealTime Racing Team Acuras fought through some adversity this weekend, but kept battling to the end of Rounds Six and Seven of the Pirelli World Challenge at Barber Motorsports Park.
The Acura TLX GTs of Ryan Eversley and Peter Cunningham qualified 14th and 20th, respectively, for Saturday’s opening race, but the drivers saw their fates reversed on the 2.38-mile Barber road course. Eversley suffered a transmission problem that necessitated a late-race pit stop that would cost the second-year GT driver three laps to fix.
RTR driver/owner Peter Cunningham picked up the Acura flag, though, and gained seven spots from his starting position, finishing a strong 13th and earning the series’ Hard Charger Award for gaining the most spots during the opening race.
“I came in so the guys could look at things,” Eversley explained after feeling a vibration in the #43 Acura. “It was either that or wreck the car, and I think I made the right choice, because we had a race Sunday. They didn’t see anything when they took the wheels off. Coming into the pits the car wouldn’t downshift, so the crew had to address a transmission issue, as well. When I went back out the car felt great.”
Sunday saw Eversley start 12th while Cunningham gridded 16th, but race positions were hard to come by on a day when the entire 50-minute event was run without a caution flag. Cunningham gained one position to place 15th, while Eversley held serve to place 12th.
“My TLX GT performed well today, just not where we want to be in the running order,” Cunningham said. “Barber is a tough place to pass, so we need to qualify closer to front. Can't wait for some of the upcoming tracks. The Acuras will surely be stronger than we managed here.”
The performance marked the first weekend of the season that the RealTime Racing Acura did not score at least one top-10 finish, but Cunningham’s strong performance on Saturday gives the team reason to be optimistic.
“It was a tough weekend for the TLX GT program,” said Senior Program Engineer Lee Niffenegger of Honda Performance Development. “While our TLXs did quite well on the street courses of recent events, we had a much tougher time at Barber. We will work hard in the upcoming weeks to find further improvement and work with the series on our pace, relative to some of our competitors.
The team will have some time to work on its performance as Rounds Eight and Nine are three weeks away at Bowmanville, Ontario’s Canadian Tire Motorsports Park.
Developed from the production Acura TLX by HPD and RealTime Racing, the Acura TLX GT features HPD chassis and aerodynamic performance parts approved for Pirelli World Challenge competition. It is powered by a direct-injected, twin-turbocharged V6 engine, developed by HPD from the production Acura TLX.
Video recaps from this weekend’s Acura Pirelli World Challenge racing activities in Birmingham are being posted on the "Honda Racing/HPD" YouTube channel. Produced by the Carolinas Production Group, the video packages can be found in the 2016 HPD Trackside Video Playlist at: https://www.youtube.com/HondaRacingHPDTV.